Playing in a three game series in Macomb, Illinois, the Bison softball team split their Saturday doubleheader with Western Illinois. The Herd rebounded from a 1-0 shutout loss in the first game to win in decisive fashion, topping the Leathernecks 11-3 in the second game.
Pitcher Jacqueline Sertic traded scoreless innings with her opponent Emily Ira for the first five innings of the first contest. In the bottom of the sixth inning, WIU broke through, scoring the game’s only run. Nina Maggio flew out to centerfielder Madyson Camacho, scoring Rachel Beatty, who tripled in the previous at bat.
The Bison had chances to score earlier in the game but were unable to capitalize on their few base runners.
In the fourth inning, Stephanie Soriano singled on a ball up the middle then took second base on a passed ball. However, Ira buckled down and recorded back-to-back strikeouts of Vanessa Anderson and Bre Beatty to retire the side and end the threat.
The Bison had runners in scoring position in the fifth and sixth innings in two out situations, but in both instances Ira retired the next batter.
Ira out-dueled Sertic, twirling a complete game shutout and striking out 15 batters. She allowed only one hit to earn her 10th win of the season.
Sertic fell to 12-19 on the campaign, but was snake bit once again by her lack of run support. Sertic allowed two hits and one walk across six frames, but because her offense could not score she took the loss.
Fortunes turned for the Bison in the second half of the doubleheader. NDSU exploded for 11 runs, led by Bre Beatty’s two doubles and four runs batted in to support hurler KK Leddy.
The Herd broke out early, scoring three runs in the first inning. Beatty laced her first of two doubles to plate Anderson and second baseman Zoe Stavrou. The runs broke a 21-inning scoreless stretch for the Bison. Dani Renner added the third run with a sacrifice fly later in the inning.
The Leathernecks scored in the home half of the inning on Rachel Beatty’s home run to trim the deficit to two.
WIU was never able to get back into the game, though.
The Bison chased opposing pitcher Brooke Stulga from the game after tagging her for eight hits in just one-and-two-thirds innings. Payton Abbot relieved Stulga but was not any more effective against a Bison lineup that seemed to have an awakening between games.
Catcher Tabby Heinz homered in the third inning two bring the score to 6-1. The lead stretched to eight runs in the fourth inning following Beatty’s second RBI double and third baseman Julia Luciano’s two run single.
Following Anderson’s run-scoring groundout, Beatty added her third hit of the afternoon, an RBI single, to cap off a 3-4 game and to put the visitors in front 11-1. Western scored two runs in the fifth inning, but the five-inning game concluded with Leddy’s seventh win of the season.
The rubber game of the three game set was played on Sunday at 11 a.m.
The Bison are now 19-26 on the season, with a 6-5 mark in Summit League play.
NDSU will play a Wednesday doubleheader in Minneapolis against the University of Minnesota. Following the midweek tilt with the Golden Gophers, the Herd will host South Dakota State on the weekend in their final home series of the season.